NBC issues being addressed: Minister

The Minister for Communications, Information Technology & Energy says he is progressively addressing the many legacy issues affecting NBC operations throughout the country.

Sam Basil made the statement following the condemnation of the NBC Morobe studio.

In a press conference on October 12th, the Communications Minister said all these NBC infrastructure throughout PNG existed since 1973 – two years before independence.

“Most of them are in a rundown state but I would also like to commend the NBC staff that over the years, they have provided excellent services and they continue to do so, but we are now looking at ways to address those issues,” Basil said.

The Minister said he has had discussions with the Prime Minister to demolish the old studio buildings to ensure the dedicated staff of NBC can work in a better and more modern broadcast environment.

He said it is quite unfortunate that the country has to deal with legacy issues like aging infrastructure and staff accommodation.

The Build-Operate-Lease-Transfer (BOLT) financing arrangement is being considered for NBC Morobe, New Ireland and others in a similar state.

“This time we will give priority to local companies that are operating in Papua New Guinea,” Basil stated.

“We can’t then we open up to external companies from overseas to come in and try and bid.”

Meantime, the Minister said two NBC technicians are in Lae to address the issue, and broadcasting will resume by Monday, while a temporary area will be allocated at the old Lae airport.

Carmella Gware